Today’s guest post, Intentional Purpose, is by Joan Hall, an intentional writer.
No matter what our dreams, we have to pursue them intentionally and purposefully. My dreams of having an ideal job and being a writer would not have happened if they remained dreams. Teresa Parker’s book, Gift of Purpose: How to Start Living Your Dreams reminded me of that. I almost let my dreams slip by.
I thought I had finally landed my dream job. It combined everything I wanted:
- Working in a busy office
- Relating to the medical field
- Requiring computer work and data entry
- Challenging with a lot of intense concentration on my part
- Never boring, always busy.
- Outstanding benefits with a lot of vacation time
I often said, “I’ve finally learned what I wanted to do when I grew up.” I envied people like my older brother, who recognized from his first week of school he wanted to be a teacher.
In actuality, though, I knew from an early age I wanted to work in an office. I grew up in the country. There weren’t any children with whom to play. When school dismissed for the summer, some weeks I didn’t see other children except at church on Sundays.
I never had any trouble entertaining myself. With 40 acres of woods and fields to explore, I kept busy. I had plenty of make believe games. One of them was playing office. I loved to make plans, organize things, and peck away on an imaginary typewriter. By the time I was in high school, I chose elective classes such as typing and bookkeeping.
Around 10, I realized I also wanted to be a writer. I was an avid reader and I wanted to be able to create stories people would enjoy. I began writing about animals and life around the farm.
As a teenager, I wrote some poetry and a very short novel. Yet, once I finished school, I let go of my dream of writing and working in an office. I took a job well below my capabilities.
After almost five years, through a series of circumstances, I took a job with a local bank. I was finally able to begin utilizing the skills I learned in school. I worked there for 15 years, changed jobs twice, and then began working in my present position.
Each job was a stepping stone; a place where I could further develop my skills. My dream of being a writer, though, did not come to fruition until much later.
I never lost the desire. There were times I sat down at my computer and wrote short pieces, most of which I deleted.
Around six years ago, I decided if I was going to be a writer, I needed to be intentional about it. I made up my mind to write. I took some online classes, attended some writers’ conferences and workshops and joined a critique group. Finally, I started a blog and began writing.
You see, my day job helps pay the bills. My real dream is to write. Here’s the deal, we may have dreams, but if we don’t act upon them, they will remain dreams.
We may learn skills, but if we don’t apply them, what we have learned is in vain. What is your dream? What is one thing you desire? Is it a specific career? Is it learning a new sport? To become physically fit?
The only way we will ever achieve our dreams is to be like the old Nike ads—just do it.
No matter how many writing classes I take, no matter how many conferences I attend, if I don’t write, I’m not a writer. I have to be intentional about writing.
Whatever your goal, your desire, your dream, pursue it intentionally. Live purposefully. You can achieve your goals and live your dream.
What is one thing you do to be intentional regarding your dreams?
By day, Joan Hall abstracts data for nationally reported healthcare quality measures, but writing is her true passion. She is a regular contributor for Splickety Magazine. She also enjoys outdoor walks, bird watching and nature photography. Connect with Joan at www.joanhallwrites.com.